Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Your Strength Is Devastating"

"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." - Albert Einstein

In the wake of this week's tragedy in Boston, one of my main questions was, "How are people going to talk to their kids about this?" I have asked several parents, and I still don't know the answer. So, now I'm convinced that, even with all the words and ideas that we have collected over the years, all of them fall short, because the truth of the matter is... we might as well all be six years old. We don't understand it ourselves. 

We understand the outpouring of love and affection and we understand the solidarity that we feel with one of America's greatest cities. That's easy. That's what we DO. What we can't see is how someone can have so much hatred in their heart against people that they don't even know... people they have never met... people who are innocently cheering on their heroes on a beautiful day in a gorgeous city.

That's the big mystery. The thing that keeps me up at night. The unanswerable question. There's just no rhyme or reason to what happened. None. So, instead, we find ourselves looking for answers in the response. We comfort ourselves by watching people run INTO danger instead of away from it. We think to ourselves, "People are still good. They have to be. This is proof." 

This image alone is enough to remind me that we take care of each other no matter what. We carry each other. When people try to take us down, we lift each other up. 

I've probably quoted this Springsteen lyric here before -- but here it is again, and this time it's for Boston's first responders, professional and civilian:

"Your strength is devastating in the face of all these odds..."

That's what it is, after all. It's devastating. It's hard to watch footage of that day without a lump in your throat or a flutter in your chest. You watch and wonder, "Would I have that kind of strength? Would I run into the unknown to save someone I've never met?"

I became a certified Red Cross Disaster Action Team member last weekend, two days before the tragic events of April 15th, because I knew a long time ago that I wanted to be a part of the solution. I feel greatly blessed that I currently have the time to devote to a cause much greater than myself, but I still don't know the answer to: "Would I have that kind of strength?" I think we all like to believe we would, but seeing that kind of heroism in action is humbling, to say the very least.

Although many things have changed since Albert Einstein gave us these words of wisdom, wisdom itself never changes. It evolves. It strengthens. It gets passed on as we cling to the hope that we can somehow make things better.

Still, until we can find the words and the ideas to wrap our heads around the events of April 15th, we're all six years old, patiently waiting for someone to explain the world to us. 

Stay strong, Boston. You have our admiration and our love. 


Post a Comment